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The Anti-Targ

'Ghost in the Shell' Live Action(?) Hollywood Edition

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Scarlett Johansson playing the lead character Motoko Kusanagi...what?

Surely if people can call for boycotts because a black person plays a Stormtrooper with a conscience boycotts can be called for a white person playing a Japanese character.

Either that, or there's some notion that Japanese enforcement authorities would deliberately make a cyborg cop in the image of a sexy American of Scandinavian decent. Which is kind of an insult to Japan as well. 

I really like the original movie so I hope they don't screw up this Hollywood version. But I get the feeling they will. Not necessarily through any fault of Scarlett's. I think she can do a fine job of playing a cyborg cop and I don't think casting a Japanese actor for the role would necessarily improve the likelihood of the movie being any good.

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Hey she's also Jewish heritage too :P

If they are localising the whole story then I can see why they would cast that way, if it's still set in Japan and all the extras are Japanese, but the main cast are white...then yeah, that's a problem.  Either way I expect it to fail to live up, I don't feel that the American cultural context does a good job of translating what makes Japanese media work.  There is an American audience for them, but Hollywood doesn't produce things that way.

On casting for live action adaptations of anime/manga I was surprised they just made everyone Japanese for the Attack on Titan movie, given ethnicity is an issue there I would have thought they would flip it and have Mikasa be white or something so she still stands out.  Generally speaking though you do have the complicating factor of the way Japanese people are styled in anime looking very white, I wouldn't be surprised if that's the justification they try to go with here...although the leap from that to blonde Danish/Ashkenazi Jewish American is still pretty fucking dramatic and obvious.

ETA: Looking at it, it's being directed by the guy that did Snow White and the Huntsman so maybe he specifically likes working with her as well, a lot of directors have their favourites.  Other actors linked to it are Danish and English so best case is its localised outside Japan.

ETA2: I still don't like taking it out of Japan, but I feel that's less offensive than keeping it there and having the main cast white.  Both are bad though

Edited by karaddin
Added stuff

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1 hour ago, karaddin said:

Hey she's also Jewish heritage too :P

If they are localising the whole story then I can see why they would cast that way, if it's still set in Japan and all the extras are Japanese, but the main cast are white...then yeah, that's a problem.  Either way I expect it to fail to live up, I don't feel that the American cultural context does a good job of translating what makes Japanese media work.  There is an American audience for them, but Hollywood doesn't produce things that way.

On casting for live action adaptations of anime/manga I was surprised they just made everyone Japanese for the Attack on Titan movie, given ethnicity is an issue there I would have thought they would flip it and have Mikasa be white or something so she still stands out.  Generally speaking though you do have the complicating factor of the way Japanese people are styled in anime looking very white, I wouldn't be surprised if that's the justification they try to go with here...although the leap from that to blonde Danish/Ashkenazi Jewish American is still pretty fucking dramatic and obvious.

ETA: Looking at it, it's being directed by the guy that did Snow White and the Huntsman so maybe he specifically likes working with her as well, a lot of directors have their favourites.  Other actors linked to it are Danish and English so best case is its localised outside Japan.

ETA2: I still don't like taking it out of Japan, but I feel that's less offensive than keeping it there and having the main cast white.  Both are bad though

Do what? If Kristen Stewart or Charlize Theron were cast as Motoko that might be a reason. But AFAIK Scarlett was not in Snow White and the Huntsman.

I could possibly see this working in a setting outside Japan if they set the story in an Eastern Europe type setting. Transplanting it into a stereotypical Anglosphere setting might not work very well. But it would also be weird having the main character in a European setting be played by a white person with an unambiguously Japanese name. If they were going to transplant the story into a Western / European setting you'd think they'd Westernise / Europeanise the characters' names.

Who is going to go see this movie if the Western fanbase for the original are being largely put off by the casting and negative speculation about the possible setting? There's probably a good reason that Spielberg and his mates who love Ghost in the Shell and bough the movie rights for a live action adaptation failed to get a viable concept off the ground. They probably tried to come up with ways to Westernise it for a broader US/Europe audience and just couldn't make it work. Perhaps different minds have come up with a solution...doubt it though.

I see there's now even a petition online with 15,000 "signatures". I hope Scarlett doesn't become the focus of any ire, because any criticism belongs with the people who decided they should cast a white person in the first place.

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Oh god I can't believe I confused Scarlett and Charliza >_< *hides in the corner*

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That's OK. I'm a bit embarrassed to actually know who is in the cast of Snow White and the Huntsman to be able to point out the error.

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Any live action adaptation of GitS is immediately going to be hamstrung by the fact that if they go with anything like the original visual aesthetic, the casual goers it'll need to entice are immediately going to assume it's a Matrix ripoff, despite obviously being the other way around. 


I don't think there'd be any particular problem with Westernising the story- I don't see where it goes into any territory that isn't similar to, say, Blade Runner or indeed The Matrix, and stylistically it's quite Western-influenced anyway- but they should either go the whole hog or, yes, cast a Japanese actress. 

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9 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

 

Surely if people can call for boycotts because a black person plays a Stormtrooper with a conscience boycotts can be called for a white person playing a Japanese character.

 

Not sure I'd want to be in the same club as those guys. Especially after Mad Max Fury Road in which you'll probably get the same group helping out with your boycott because it has a female lead (and therefore automatically marginalises men???). So, said group would wind up destroying an action film with a female lead beacuse it's not the right female in the role? Which means there'll be even less chance in the future of having what they want? People need to choose their battles more carefully.

If this had been made 15 years ago I'd probably have said Carrie Anne Moss could have captured the role really well (there's a decent chance this was what the Wachowskis were thinking). Besides the name and setting there isn't a strong sense of ethnicity at all attached to the character (Japanese people would look very strange if they were a direct reflection of the various anime styles!). I strongly suspect it will be set in the USA so the character will probably be american meaning they can choose a variety of ethnicities. If it's set in Japan with Scarlet as a police captain then, I'd also be scratching my head but maybe future Japan is more diverse too? The name is also odd but a simple and lazy fix is "she's adopted". That worked perfectly well in Fant4stic (not that much else did). Worse case scenario is she's a visiting american cop whose sergeant thought she'd fit in because of her name.

I'd agree that it's a shame that lead action roles for women appear to be the domain of a very small roster of female actors. So they do need to a) make more films with female leads and b ) start diversifying the female leads. In fairness it's hard, to tackle the second point without expanding the first significantly. There could even be an argument that more bankable films with female leads need to be landed before they can expand the roster because it only takes a "catwoman" for Hollywood to retreat and give Tom Cruise more films to make.

9 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I really like the original movie so I hope they don't screw up this Hollywood version. But I get the feeling they will. Not necessarily through any fault of Scarlett's. I think she can do a fine job of playing a cyborg cop and I don't think casting a Japanese actor for the role would necessarily improve the likelihood of the movie being any good.

Definitely. I'm more concerned with the fact that it is a hollywood film and that we'll get some "total recall" remake . Snow white and the huntsman was functional but that was about it. I'd be a lot more upset if Kirsten Stewart was in GiTS as I thought she was awful in snow white.

6 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Who is going to go see this movie if the Western fanbase for the original are being largely put off by the casting and negative speculation about the possible setting? There's probably a good reason that Spielberg and his mates who love Ghost in the Shell and bough the movie rights for a live action adaptation failed to get a viable concept off the ground. They probably tried to come up with ways to Westernise it for a broader US/Europe audience and just couldn't make it work. Perhaps different minds have come up with a solution...doubt it though.

I seriously doubt this film is being made for western fans of Gits. They already have all the other Ghost in the shell franchises to entertain themselves. If they make some generic crap that appeals to the Marvel and Fast and Furious crowds they are not going to care about 15,000 signatures (especially when a percentage of them will still watch it). They may even see it as "free" advertising.

Hollywood is a weird place.

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*Looks at what this director has done*

*Sees Snow White and the Huntsman*

Yeah...no, fuck this.

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I only heard of Ghost in the Shell about a week ago, when i saw some stuff about the new FPS that's in early access on steam (side note: Its supposedly a completely average dime-a-dozen FPS with not much connection to the source material). I assume ScarJo would be the center character here, who doesn't really look any ethnicity to me. And since its my understanding she's something like 99.9% robot anyway, I don't know if its really whitewashing in this case.

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I don't think simply making a US-based live-action 'version' of it is offensive. This type of change in adaptations/remakes for whatever reasons happens all the time. I don't recall the 'american' The Bridge being offensive to swedes/danes, for example. It just sucked. Which this movie will likely as well.

 

 

 

 

Edited by JoeyBanana

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5 hours ago, Red Tiger said:

*Looks at what this director has done*

*Sees Snow White and the Huntsman*

Yeah...no, fuck this.

Where the female lead was so poor they have made a sequel without her and switched to a male lead. Not the director's fault entirely (Stewart was terrible) although his affair with her may have meant his judgement of her acting was biased.

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2 hours ago, red snow said:

Where the female lead was so poor they have made a sequel without her and switched to a male lead. Not the director's fault entirely (Stewart was terrible) although his affair with her may have meant his judgement of her acting was biased.


His affair with her was what meant she was dropped from the sequel. And him. Nothing to do with how poor or otherwise she was.

I didn't think that film was that bad. A missed opportunity, it could have been great and it wasn't, but I quite enjoyed it. 

The sequel has a stellar cast, mind you. Hoping for that to up the ante. 

Edited by polishgenius

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3 hours ago, red snow said:

Where the female lead was so poor they have made a sequel without her and switched to a male lead. Not the director's fault entirely (Stewart was terrible) although his affair with her may have meant his judgement of her acting was biased.

38 minutes ago, polishgenius said:


His affair with her was what meant she was dropped from the sequel. And him. Nothing to do with how poor or otherwise she was.

I didn't think that film was that bad (yes, but you also thought Man of Steel was a good film, so my apologies for not agreeing with you). A missed opportunity, it could have been great and it wasn't, but I quite enjoyed it. 

The sequel has a stellar cast, mind you. Hoping for that to up the ante. 

Yes it is, he could have decided to spread the spotlight more evenly around, he did not.

I dont think Stewart was the only problem with this film and I overall thought it was shit. Just really empty performances all around, with Theron being the only one who made somewhat of an impression. Scenes was so forgettable that I could hardly recall a Theronless one after leaving the cinema. Death and supposedly dramatic scenes didnt make any impact whatsoever, to add to that the action scenes so to speak were poor as well.

 

 

 

Edited by Red Tiger

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57 minutes ago, polishgenius said:


His affair with her was what meant she was dropped from the sequel. And him. Nothing to do with how poor or otherwise she was.

I didn't think that film was that bad. A missed opportunity, it could have been great and it wasn't, but I quite enjoyed it. 

The sequel has a stellar cast, mind you. Hoping for that to up the ante. 

and a different director so it could well be an improvement. Keeping the stronger cast members and ditching the others should also help.

 

21 minutes ago, Red Tiger said:

Yes it is, he could have decided to spread the spotlight more evenly around, he did not.

I dont think Stewart was the only problem with this film and I overall thought it was shit.

 

 

 

I think Snow White was supposed to be the main protagonist though so it would have been tricky to avoid Stewart on screen. I also think telling someone you're interested in that she has to do another take might be an issue. Then again it's true there were a lot of flat performances so the director generally didn't care or is acting-blind.

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7 minutes ago, red snow said:

I think Snow White was supposed to be the main protagonist though so it would have been tricky to avoid Stewart on screen. I also think telling someone you're interested in that she has to do another take might be an issue. Then again it's true there were a lot of flat performances so the director generally didn't care or is acting-blind.

Look, if a guy is putting his dick before his work and sense, he is not a good director. "He was in love" is not a good defense, it's a sign that this guy probably should not be your first choice for a director when working with women.

I am not talking about avoiding she who cannot act, but he could have found ways to give more time to other characters while giving slightly less ot Stewart. Just an example: he could have given 40% of the time to Stewart, 35 to Theron and spread the rest around to other characters.

Edited by Red Tiger

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3 hours ago, Red Tiger said:

I dont think Stewart was the only problem with this film and I overall thought it was shit. Just really empty performances all around, with Theron being the only one who made somewhat of an impression. Scenes was so forgettable that I could hardly recall a Theronless one after leaving the cinema. Death and supposedly dramatic scenes didnt make any impact whatsoever, to add to that the action scenes so to speak were poor as well.

When I watched this movie I think I spent most of my time wondering what kind of animal you hunt with an axe?

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Has there ever been a successful live action adaptation of an anime source material?

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1 minute ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

Has there ever been a successful live action adaptation of an anime source material?



I haven't seen Perfect Blue yet, but Black Swan is meant to be essentially an adaptation of said. If so, that. 

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11 minutes ago, polishgenius said:



I haven't seen Perfect Blue yet, but Black Swan is meant to be essentially an adaptation of said. If so, that. 

No it isnt,  Arronofosky took inspiration from the anime (he is an anime fan and put some of these influences in requiem as well), it was never meant to be an adaptation. It has thematic similarities, but they are very different.

17 minutes ago, The_Gallows_Knight said:

When I watched this movie I think I spent most of my time wondering what kind of animal you hunt with an axe?

LOL

Edited by Red Tiger

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7 hours ago, Fez said:

And since its my understanding she's something like 99.9% robot anyway, I don't know if its really whitewashing in this case.

Her cyborg body is modelled after her real body of course. Or what her real body would have been if she grew up with it.

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